Colts Media Reporter Steve Andress' picks for the top fantasy matchups this week.
INDIANAPOLIS --- It's pretty simple. I help you make good lineup decisions this week, or some of you blame me for your season going down in fantasy flames. I get it. Comes with the territory, but you know what? Let's do this. Bring it on. I'm up for the challenge. Just ask this guy:
I told Jacob (nice guy) that if I had to choose, I'd pick Woodhead this week over DeMarco Murray but didn't like either of them and would pick up Shaun Draughn or Spencer Ware if available in his league. Those are the kind of decisions you have to make come playoff time in fantasy. You have to be fearless. What your players did in September and October doesn't matter anymore. It's like March Madness. One and done.
It's why I will be benching either Todd Gurley (vs. DET) or Chris Ivory (vs. TEN) in one PPR league this week. The Rams offense hasn't helped Gurley at all in recent weeks, and Ivory's situation has turned into a timeshare with Bilal Powell. Look at production over the past month, and play the match-ups.
It's time to manage fearlessly and move one step closer to a fantasy championship. As I've done all season, here are some fringe starters that could help you this week. I don't just pick obvious players that you will start or sit anyway.
Week 14 Start 'Em (16 points for QBs, 10 for RB/WR; 49-26 for season, 4-2 last week which included the #1 week 13 RB Javorius Allen)
Bills QB Tyrod Taylor (@ PHL) - Lost in the shuffle of the Eagles win over the Patriots was the fact that Tom Brady still lit up this defense for fantasy points. Taylor is also red hot the past two weeks with 7 total touchdowns against the Chiefs and Texans. He's added 74 yards on the ground in those games as well.
Bucs QB Jameis Winston (vs. NO) - Winston posted 18 fantasy points week 2 against the Saints in just his second career game. Meanwhile, the Saints defense is giving up close to 30 fantasy points per game over the past 6 games. Winston is a strong play in daily fantasy as well but will have high usage in tournaments.
Chiefs RB Spencer Ware (vs. SD) - He is splitting carries now with Charcandrick West, with West actually out-touching him 11 to 9 last week, but here's the key. Ware out-touched West 3-to-1 in the redzone, and against San Diego's rushing defense, I think the touchdown streak continues for the bigger back in this mix. Ware has 4 rushing scores in the past three games and is averaging 6 yards per carry this season.
49ers RB Shaun Draughn (@ CLE) - Don't look now, but Blaine Gabbert is keeping the San Francisco offense afloat, with Draughn getting featured back touches. Draughn has averaged 19.5 touches in four starts for 86.25 total yards per game. This is a safer play in PPR leagues, considering Draughn has caught 4, 8, 5, and 5 passes, but against Cleveland's defense that has allowed 100 yards to running backs in 8 of 12 games this season, Draughn is a solid flex play.
Bills WR Sammy Watkins (@ PHI) - Most people that started Watkins all season probably didn't make the playoffs, but if you are one of the fortunate ones that did, start him this week with confidence. He's on fire. 9 receptions, 267 yards, and 3 touchdowns the past two weeks, against a very beatable Eagles secondary this week. Philly has allowed 12 receiving TDs to WRs over the past 5 games.
Dolphins WR Jarvis Landry (vs. NYG) - Don't be scared off by his 2 catch, 5 yard day last week. The Giants defense is allowing 220 yards per game to receivers over the past 5 weeks, ranked in the bottom half of the league.
SLEEPER OF THE WEEK - Broncos RB Ronnie Hillman/Juwan Thompson (vs. OAK): If C.J. Anderson is out, Hillman is a must start. If both are out, Thompson is a must start, in my opinion. Oakland is in the bottom half of the league in fantasy points allowed to RBs.
HONORABLE MENTIONS - Saints RBs Tim Hightower and C.J. Spiller - Mark Ingram is out for the year, but Tampa Bay is one of the best run defenses in the league. With your season on the line, you can't trust either of these two fill-ins this week.
TIGHT END WEEK 14 SLEEPER - Patriots TE Scott Chandler (if Rob Gronkowski is out) or Bucs TE Austin-Seferian Jenkins, who had 6 targets on just 21 snaps in his return from injury last week and gets to face the Saints this week. More people would have picked him up this week if he didn't drop a touchdown on one of those targets.
Week 14 Sit 'Em ( < 16 points for QBs, < 10 for RB/WR; 47-24 on the season, 3-3 last week...picking QBs to sit is the hardest thing to do in fantasy. 15 QBs scored 22 points or more last week. Plenty of options out there.)
Falcons QB Matt Ryan (@ CAR): Matty Ice has cooled off. Just 21 points the past two weeks against Minnesota and Tampa Bay, and now he faces the Panthers defense. He's always been one of the more inconsistent fantasy quarterbacks from week-to-week, and the emergence of a ground game with Devonta Freeman has made that more so this season. Ryan has cracked 16 fantasy points in just half his games this season. Flip a coin. Or don't since your season is on the line.
Raiders QB Derek Carr (@ DEN) - The Broncos defense is #1 against fantasy quarterbacks, allowing less than 13 points per game. Carr has played two defenses with strong pass rushes two of the past three weeks (Detroit and Kansas City) and only managed 19 fantasy points combined.
Bengals RB Jeremy Hill (vs. PIT) - Just 68 total yards in the first meeting against the Steelers. Yes, he went off for 98 yards and a touchdown last week, but that was Cleveland. This is Pittsburgh. The Steelers have allowed the 2nd fewest points to fantasy running backs this season.
Packers RB Eddie Lacy (vs. DET) - If you have Eddie Lacy and still made the fantasy playoffs, consider yourself fortunate. Don't gamble more now by starting him this week, when the Packers timeshare in the backfield is anybody's guess. Lacy got just 6 touches last week against Detroit for one yard. ONE. You can't start him with confidence in the fantasy playoffs.
Raiders WR Amari Cooper (@ DEN) - The Broncos STILL have only allowed 1 touchdown to wide receivers this season, way back in week 4 against Minnesota.
Panthers WR Ted Ginn (vs. ATL) - Maybe you are tempted to start him in your flex this week, coming off an 80-yard, two touchdown performance. Don't do it. Desmond Trufant has been a shutdown corner this year. I think Ginn has a quiet week 14. It was also only the 2nd game he's had with 80 yards this season.